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  • Writer's pictureMohamed Soltan

Meta-SaaS is the Next Big Thing Tech Investors Must Know About

The demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS) has surged as society becomes increasingly digitized. However, as SaaS adoption increases, so do the challenges and complexities of managing multiple SaaS applications across different functions, teams, and geographies. This is where Meta-SaaS comes in—and investors should pay attention.

What's Meta-SaaS?

Meta-SaaS is a relatively new business term used to describe a category of SaaS software that helps enterprises manage their SaaS stacks. These platforms make it easier for businesses to customize suites of SaaS tools and help them manage their existing SaaS products more efficiently. For example, a company might use a meta-SaaS platform to create a suite of project management tools that includes Trello for task management, Asana for team communication, and Jira for issue tracking.

With a central hub for a company's software, monitoring usage, tracking costs, and managing subscriptions is far easier and cheaper. This can be especially helpful for large companies that use hundreds of different SaaS products across various departments and teams.

There are two main categories of meta-SaaS applications:

Integration Platforms

These platforms allow businesses to connect different SaaS tools so that they work with one another seamlessly. This can entail anything from basic data integration to complex workflow automation. As a result, integration platforms enable businesses to streamline their operations and reduce the time and resources required to manage multiple SaaS products. They also help to eliminate data silos, leading to better-informed decisions based on a holistic view of their data.

Management Platforms

These platforms help businesses manage their existing SaaS products. They provide a centralized dashboard that allows businesses to monitor usage, track costs, and manage subscriptions. Management platforms enable businesses to optimize their SaaS usage, ensuring they only pay for the services they need. They also help businesses identify areas to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Both integration platforms and management platforms are becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, some integration platforms now offer AI-powered data mapping and transformation, while some management platforms offer predictive analytics and cost optimization recommendations.

Meta-SaaS companies provide solutions for various aspects of SaaS management, such as:

SaaS Data Security

These companies help enterprises protect their sensitive data across different SaaS applications, prevent data breaches, and comply with data privacy regulations.

Search across SaaS Data

These companies enable enterprises to find and access relevant information from various SaaS applications centrally, using natural language processing and machine learning.

Employee Onboarding to SaaS Apps

These companies help organizations streamline the process of provisioning and de-provisioning access to SaaS applications for new hires and departing employees, as well as enforcing role-based permissions and policies.

SaaS Billing Apps

These companies help enterprises optimize their SaaS spending, track usage, and renewals, negotiate contracts, and identify unused or underutilized licenses.

Investing in Meta-SaaS

One approach to investing in meta-SaaS is to look for companies that provide meta-SaaS platforms. Thorough research will identify the leaders in this space. Those leaders will offer the most powerful tools for integrating and managing SaaS applications—but also the means to bring them to market. By investing in these companies, you can gain exposure to the growing demand for meta-SaaS solutions.

Another option is to invest in SaaS businesses that use meta-SaaS platforms. These companies can benefit from increased efficiency, productivity, and reduced costs. And reducing the time and resources required to manage their software will positively impact their financial performance in future years.

But although meta-SaaS has enormous potential, it's still a relatively new and complex technology. To make informed decisions, investors must consider the following common tech risks:

Market Saturation

As more companies enter the meta-SaaS space, competition may increase, leading to lower profit margins and reduced growth potential.

Technological Disruption

As innovations and advancements in cloud-based software solutions are made, they may render existing meta-SaaS platforms obsolete.

Despite these risks, meta-SaaS companies offer significant value propositions for both SaaS vendors and customers. As a result, this still nascent market is growing rapidly. According to Accel Partners, Europe alone produced 81 SaaS unicorns in 2021 (up from 44 in 2020), including three Meta-SaaS decacorns ($10 billion+): (SaaS billing), Talkdesk (SaaS data security), and Celonis (search across SaaS data). Moreover, 11 European Meta-SaaS companies went public last year, up from three in 2020.

As more enterprises adopt SaaS solutions to power their digital transformation initiatives, the demand for Meta-SaaS solutions will only increase. As a result, they will play an increasingly important role in helping businesses manage their operations effectively. This creates a huge opportunity for investors to back the next generation of Meta-SaaS innovators.

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